Thursday, October 8, 2015

読書の秋 (どくしょのあき, dokusho no aki)

Literally, "autumn of reading,"  読書の秋 means that autumn is a good season to catch up on one's reading.  As it was explained to me, autumn is an ideal time for this because the temperature is comfortable and life during these months aren't usually terribly busy, for most folks.  Spring, also a comfortable month, is less than ideal for sitting and reading because in Japan, April is the month of new beginnings (new school year, new employment) and is therefore a hectic period.  Summer, a less comfortable month temperature-wise in most of the country (hot!), presents too many alluring activities in the outdoors, e.g. swimming, fireworks, and festivals.  Winter, certainly a time for curling up with a good book or other kinds of pages, is cold and busy when Christmas and the New Year comes around.  And so autumn is the season to read.

There are other _____ no aki sayings.

スポーツの秋 (スポーツのあき, supōtsu no aki) is an expression that tells us that autumn is a good time for sports, as it isn't too hot or cold.

食欲の秋 (しょくよくのあき, shokuyoku no aki) refers to the increase in appetite that many feel as the air cools and autumn foods (persimmon, chestnuts, saury, and grilled sweet potatoes) surround us.


Friday, October 2, 2015

ガツリ (gatsuri)

My students taught me this--ガツリ basically means めちゃ, or very, really

For example, "I really want to eat yakiniku!"= 焼肉(を)ガツリ食べたい!(Yakiniku gatsuri tabetai!)

It may be that some younger people use this term a bit different from middle-aged/older people.  My college students taught it to me, and it came about like this:  as a writing activity, I asked them to write letters to their older, future selves.  (This was in conjunction with watching a movie in which the main characters record a video for their older selves; I was trying to give my students a chance for a similar experience.)  As the class sat quietly, contemplating the letter they were about to write, some of them started to ask one another about how old were the future selves to which they were writing.  Some of them were writing to their forty-year-old selves, some a little older.  But one of them said that she wanted to be ガツリおばあちゃん (gatsuri obaachan), which was her term to signify a really old lady.

When I asked around about the gatsuri obaachan usage, most (including high school and college students) said that it sounded a little weird.  Basically, they said that gatsuri is used as an adverb, e.g. gatsuri ikitai (I really want to go), or gatsuri mitai (I really want to see it). 

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